EurActiv - Letters to the Editor


Regarding ‘Britain hosts ‘innovation summit’ with EU Nordic member states‘:

Despite all the rhetoric from the UK government this notion that they will help companies in the UK develop green technologies is an absolute farce of major proportions.

Most of the ‘green’ developments we have seen promoted in the UK have been those proffered by small businesses and enterprises for which the strictures on the awarding of grants or even loans are so contrived that the awards of them to these ‘entrepreneurial companies’ would never happen.

Just look at what has happened in the past as an example. The development of the New Technologies programme for bringing forth inspirational waste treatment programmes on behalf of the European Union was a total nonsense from the day it was proposed in 2004.

The advisors to the host country’s organisation DEFRA were so imbibed in promoting incineration that they had little if any motive to think ‘outside the barrel’. Oh yes, they did look at pre-treatment systems and oh yes, they did look at ‘variants’ to incineration, but what about the real alternatives coming through in the USA, Canada, Norway, Finland, Holland and Sweden, and now even the UK. Innovative programmes that can make commercially viable products from the residual waste streams after recycling in to transport fuels have been promoted vigorously in these countries.

As long ago as 2003 there were inspirational moves and presentations from Europe and the USA and Canada promoting these ideas to local councils and major cities. But nothing came of these, because the expectation was that the new technologies would be shown under this guise.

Now we heard just the other day that Mr Chris Huhne was promoting this issue under this new drive to create green jobs and drive the issue as part of the mechnism to rejuvenate the economy: phooey! He talked of CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) being tacked on to the back of coal-fired power stations as a proposal that would (and I do not quote his own words) provide us with clean coal technology.

What absolute nonsense this is! The only beneficiaries of this issue are going to be the oil barons and the gas barons who will get huge amounts of money from the UK and EU governments and who will use this money for their shareholders’ benefits on an UNPROVEN TECHNOLOGY to extract more and more oil and gas from nearly-depleted reserves under the sea. This is pure subsides to the mega players like BP Shell, or Total-Elf, or RWE, or Scottish and Southern Energy in the UK, or E-On or ENEL and the likes to try and prove a point about the environment.

And just to prove the issue is farcical they (the UK government, and the EU governing organisation) is throwing €uro billions and billions and billions and billions of taxpayers’ money at the proposal. All this will do is to add a further 50% to the bills of the people for their purchase of electricity. To most people in Spain or France or Ireland or Poland or Malta or the UK or Italy or Lithuania etc etc. This issue is not at all related to the attempts to try and capture greenhouse gases but one of affordability of their bills.

Now even experts in the field of oil and gas exploration are saying this is a total nonsense and should be stopped before the inevitable outcome is realised.

What is really needed for the UK to become a leader in the ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION (Green) AREA of DEVELOPMENTS is for this SO-CALLED PROMOTION TO BE DIRECTED TO THE SMALLER ENTREPRENEURS. I am sure that given the amount of these funds that are around many of these entrepreneurs would sooner be given the chance to borrow the money needed from an Innovation Fund than banks who couldn’t care one iota about the issue. After all their only remit is to lend money to the big companies.

Green innovation in the UK – phooey! This is not a real development by the UK government. It is mouth wash.

Karel Yurian

Private citizen

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